Kuldeep Yadav emerged the hero in the second innings of the first Test against West Indies in Rajkot to return with a fifer and ensure their sorry state of results continued. By beating West Indies by an innings and 272 runs for their biggest win, India also claimed their 100th Test win at home and took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. West Indies have not beaten India in a Test since 2002.
Forced to follow-on after conceding a 468-run lead, West Indies batsmen cut a sorry figure again and were bowled out for 196 – to be dismissed twice in just over three sessions of play and in three days of play.
With West Indies losing 14 wickets on the third day, Kuldeep picked up his maiden fifer and has now taken a five wicket haul in all three formats of the game. Opener Kieran Powell was the only West Indies batsman to make a contribution in the second innings, an entertaining 83 off 93 balls with eight boundaries and four sixes. But he found no support at the other end and the contest was done soon after the Tea break.
That’s too easy a win. Batting twice, WI couldn’t cross the follow- on score. Will remember this for Shaw and Pant’s fearlessness
R Ashwin was the main tormentor in the morning session and it was Kuldeep’s turn in the second to dominate. Needing time to settle down and spend time in the middle, West Indies batsmen looked to be in a hurry to finish the game – in favour of the hosts. While aiming to punish a loose ball, they went for far too many strokes and paid for their recklessness. Kuldeep thrived on that, mixing it up nicely to fox the batsmen.
Resuming from overnight score of 94/6, in reply to India’s mammoth 649/9 declared, Roston Chase and Keemo Paul combined for 73 runs, which was the lone significant partnership in an otherwise timid batting display.
Paul, who made 47, hit a couple of boundaries at Kuldeep’s expense but was surprised by a Umesh Yadav bouncer that he could only pull to Cheteshwar Pujara at midwicket. Chase brought up his half century with a glorious straight driven four before Ashwin hastened the collapse. The offie dismissed Chase, who made 53, and Sherman Lewis in the same over and then had Shannon Gabriel stumped as West Indies failed to get anywhere near the follow-on mark.
For India, the Test will be remembered for the emergence of Prithvi Shaw, who announced his arrival in international cricket with a classy hundred on debut, becoming the youngest from India to do so in Tests. Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja were the other centurions. For West Indies, it is a continuation of woes in Test cricket only compounded by the absence of captain Jason Holder and pacer Kemar Roach.
The second Test begins from Friday in Hyderabad.
Brief Scores: India 1st Innings: 649 for 9 in 149.5 overs (Virat Kohli 139, Prithvi Shaw 134, Ravindra Jadeja 100; Devendra Bishoo 4/217) beat West Indies: 181 all out in 48 overs (Roston Chase 53, Keemo Paul 47; Ravichandran Ashwin 4/37, Mohammed Shami 2/22) & 196 all out from 50.5 overs (Kieran Powell 83; Kuldeep Yadav 5/57, Ravindra Jadeja 3/35) by an innings and 272 runs.